As we are aware, self-love remains one of life’s main essentials for stable mental health. Despite this, combating both anxiety and depression have proven to be difficult. Why? Because many of us often work ourselves to exhaustion, while aiming to achieve the nearly impossible dream of perfection. No one knows this feeling better than contemporary R&B/pop princess Bree New Moon.
Today, the Virginia native joins me to speak candidly about her journey of triumph, in the face of her personal adversities. As one who once felt oppressed, she is now the picture of optimism with her 5-track, debut EP, “A Flower Blooms“.
Greetings Bree! Thank you for taking the time to invite us into your world!
Thanks so much for having me!
No problem at all! Unbeknownst to many fans, Bree New Moon is your birth name. Aside from it being derived from your Native American and African American ethnicity,
Does it have a special meaning?
I definitely feel super connected to the moon, in a way I don’t know that I would have had I not been named after it. There are things about it, that I hope to emulate at some point in my life, like the way the moon affects the ocean. It makes waves and I hate how corny this sounds, but that’s what making music is. It’s creating these physical sound waves that carry a certain frequency that you created. I also love the fact that the new moon marks the beginning of the moon cycle and sort of has this energy of new beginnings and a clean slate.
I hope that that’s how people feel when they experience me. That they have a clean slate. That I’m not here to judge them, only to embrace them and to show them that even through the darkness of the new moon, the light is on the way.
Intriguing! You describe A Flower Blooms as a strong representation of your relationship with yourself and the world over the past decade of your life. How would you describe your mental growth between now and then?
My therapist (love her), told me that people’s brains don’t even fully develop until we’re 24 or 25, and I can definitely attest to that. I feel like I have so much more access to my brain now, it’s crazy! It’s no longer clouded with the teen angst and the drama. I was easily overwhelmed by big picture, questions, and by trying to understand who I was in my teens. It all just used to feel like too much.
I couldn’t wrap my mind around being a person, and it felt like I couldn’t process my existence. It feels like, I’ve finally made contact with reality, like my spaceship has landed on Earth. I have so much more clarity now around what’s important to me, and I have the ability to focus on it like I never have before. My mental growth over the past decade of my life has deepened my capacity to hear my own voice and follow it.
Wow! That is extremely deep! How has this growth helped you musically?
I’m so much more present during the creation process. I’ve been trying to get better at understanding music theory, and transferring that to my composition process and I think I’m just able to be more thoughtful and more intentional with it. It’s much easier for me to develop a concept into a story and ultimately a song now. When I was just starting out, I used to let my feelings drive my creative process. It was really easy to get blocked that way, because when I was no longer in the moment, I couldn’t come up with anything that was compelling to me.
Now it feels like I’m in control of the process rather than the process being in control of me. I’m able to think my way through a song even on days when I don’t necessarily feel like creating.
I can totally understand that! You are one of few young artists who writes, produces and performs your own work. Do you feel that possessing these qualities has enhanced your career so far?
It definitely gives me more freedom and independence. It allows me to present myself to the world in a more holistic way than I could if I were just writing ,singing, or producing. If something isn’t sounding or feeling the way, I want it to, I have the ability to explore why that might be and to make the appropriate adjustments. No one can say, “Well that’s just the way it’s going to sound.” I can change anything I want to. That gives me the ability to stretch in so many different directions and explore my artistry in new and interesting ways every time I sit down to start something new.
I like that my voice, my lyrics, and my sound have to stand on their own and I get to be totally accountable for all of it. Love it or hate it, it’s all me and I think that’s kind of cool. My skill set is also really beneficial from a business standpoint because it’s a lot less expensive for me to make a song, than it would be for someone who only does one of those three things. Not only do I get creative control, but I get control over my intellectual property, since it’s all mine and I get ownership and control over my masters which is something not every artist has the privilege of having.
That is most definitely the proper way to handle things! The EP’s lead single “Young and Reckless” gave us a peek into your transition from adolescence to young adulthood. Did this transition evoke fear or excitement in you?
The transition is full of moments of fear, and moments of excitement. It’s kind of like a roller coaster ride. Once you buckle your seatbelt, and you’re slowly inching your way up, you feel like you’re going to puke until you reach the top. Then suddenly, you hit the drop and you’re having the time of your life, but somehow you’re also wondering whether or not you’re going to die! Where I am right now feels like the moment right when you begin the descent.
That moment where your stomach jumps into your chest, and all you can do is scream! It’s kind of fear, and excitement happening simultaneously, because nothing about this moment feels safe or secure. But somehow, it’s still fun, because you know that it’s going to be okay. You are going to make it out alive. I’m still in the very beginning of adulthood, and there’s so much that I don’t know which is scary. But, the ‘big girl’ moves that I’ve been able to make, and the opportunities that are coming my way, certainly give me that exhilarating feeling!
Your analogies were so spot on, and speak a language that we can all relate to. “Grown Ups” serves as an anthem for those in their twenties who are ready to celebrate their newfound adulthood. Do you currently find adulthood to be as exciting as it was before you entered it?
Mmmm… I’m getting there. There is a lot of building that has to happen in your twenties, that I don’t feel like anyone really warns you about when you’re younger. When we fantasize about adulthood as little kids, we think about the freedom, but not the responsibility. I’m in a unique position, as CEO of my business, at a relatively young age. I have to make so many important decisions that affect so many people, and that is way more scary than it is exciting.
There’s a heaviness to it. While adulthood is still a new chapter for me, the levels get harder as you get older, and I’m still learning so much. I’m learning about myself and my place in the world while building this career that I’m so passionate about. I’m trying to figure out how to balance it all and about what makes me happy outside of music. I’m learning about the types of people I want to be around for the rest of my life. There is still so much figuring out to do which is still pretty scary for me if I’m being honest with myself.
Overall though, I’m excited about what my life is turning into. I’m excited about the becoming. I’m excited about the process of learning and figuring out and building and not being 100% sure of what the future holds. Most of all, I am excited about growing into a better version of myself little by little, day by day.
There are also many other relatable songs on the EP; such as “If I Lose It All”, which depicts how pursuing something worthwhile is better than pursuing something that doesn’t matter. What events inspired this song?
“If I Lose It All” is really about making the decision to pursue music as a career. At the time, I was planning on moving abroad just to get away for a while to create. I wanted to make a bunch of music before moving to LA to work at a recording studio, hoping that something would eventually come of that. I was fortunate to be approached by a manager, who believed in me maybe even more than I did, (thanks Gee Mac!) before that happened. So, I didn’t have to take that route.
But that was the point when I realized, I was willing to throw every single egg I had into one basket. I was genuinely willing to lose everything for the chance to follow my dream of doing music. Lyrics like, “Here, in this empty room, the sky is the roof. Let’s go somewhere new,” is me expressing how caged in I felt by being in my hometown, where it felt like there was no one here I could relate to, and no doors opening for me. I later came to realize it wasn’t the area, it was my situation which fortunately changed pretty dramatically for the better.
In “Yet”, you sang, “What a bummer/tried to pull you closer/watched you fade away”. Do you feel that lack of communication serves as one of the main pitfalls of a relationship?
It’s like you’re inside my head. That is EXACTLY how I feel! I’m a firm believer that communication is key for any, and every kind of relationship to last. Human beings are so complex. We all hear, and see things differently than each other, which causes us to experience the exact same things in different ways. When we have expectations that aren’t being met, it causes friction. The only way to get clarity around what’s happening or what needs to happen is to talk about it. In the relationship I’m describing in “Yet,” that person wasn’t willing to be honest with me about what they were thinking, and feeling. By the time I figured it out, mentally, they were already gone.
“Empty” describes how you resorted to partying, and other detrimental remedies after a failed relationship. How is coping with disappointments now, different from how you coped with them back then?
Well the main difference is, I don’t wake up with hangovers anymore. Lol. I learned how important it is to feel my feelings, and let feelings go through me, rather than to hold onto them. Partying and intoxication are ways to numb the pain, and numbing the pain is not the same as healing from it. Emotions are energy in motion, and I have to let them be that.
There’s a reason that we have them, and they are necessary. But, I’ve found that it’s way better to observe them, than it is to be controlled by them. I’m a very spiritual person, and I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that there is a lesson in every disappointment. I try my best to give myself the space to feel the sadness, allow myself to let it go, and to use the lesson as motivation for the next challenge.
How has creating this EP led to your self-discovery?
The EP has forced me to get clear on who I am and who I want to be. It’s forced me to figure out what I want, what I want to say to the world, and what I have to offer it. It made me reflect on past relationships that I hadn’t really been willing to face, until I was writing about them. To finish the EP I had to learn how to trust myself and my vision. There are so many micro decisions that have to be made from the first lyric, to final mix, and I was able to curate my sound in a way that I haven’t been able to before.
I learned that I’m pretty picky when it comes to my art, and that it’s A-okay, that being clear about your vision is a good thing! I had to figure out what works for me during different stages of the creative process, and what doesn’t. I learned about the place where art meets discipline, and how important it is to stay at it, even when it feels impossible. On the other side of that, I also learned, that sometimes stepping away from a project for an evening, or even a day can be incredibly helpful,and ultimately conducive to finishing it. I learned how important it is to be honest with the people you love, and how in turn, that actually allows you to love yourself more. In a strange way, I feel closer to myself than ever. Through this EP, I’ve gotten to know myself so much better, and fall in love with myself in a way I never thought I would.
In a nutshell, Bree New Moon is?
Bree New Moon is someone who believes that our intrinsic value is far greater than any label the world could ever give us. She’s someone who wants everyone in the world to feel seen, heard, understood, and, more than anything else, loved. Bree New Moon is a lover.
That’s beautiful! What advice would you give to younger Bree regarding self-love and self-acceptance?
I would tell her that nobody is better at being her than she is. I would say there has never been anyone like you, there is no one like you, and there will never be anyone like you. You are a masterpiece, and God wouldn’t have let you run around on this planet if there wasn’t something extravagantly wonderfully about you. If you can’t fall in love with yourself first, you won’t believe anyone else who does. You deserve to love and be loved ferociously and unconditionally. Start with you.
I couldn’t agree more! Bree, it has been a pleasure basking in your light! You certainly are a flower in bloom! Good luck with your EP and all other future endeavors! Let the fans know how they can keep up with you.
The pleasure is all mine! Thank YOU for taking the time to chat!! It means the world to me. You can find me @BreeNewMoon on all socials and you can join my mailing list at BreeNewMoon.com for exclusive content and updates! Hope to see you there!